Nov 12, 2005 9:52 pm


Andrew Sullivan has it.

He is right. Sealing the border has been a must from day one. That can only be achieved with more troops. John McCain is right. Stopping the unremitting guerrila warfare against Challabi also could not hurt.

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Steve Schippert - 11/13/2005

With due respect to all involved, there are not enough American troops in or out of theater to 'shut down the borders' with Syria and Iran. The key will, as in other areas where success is measured, lie in the increased quality and numbers of indiginous Iraqi troops, not another division or division-light of American troops.

The borders with Iran and Syria are vast, and further, would leave a void internally. Secondly, have you checked the terrain of the Iranian border? Third, once the Iranian and Syrian borders were 'sealed' (theoretical and general term only applies), the shift of flow would then naturally shift its focus southward to the Jordanian and Saudi borders to every degree that 'it' is capable. What then?

The point being simply that, while there certainly can be a hammer at the key border crossings (Marines in Qaim area or the Army at Rabiah to the north), fancying 'sealing' them is more logical in thought than application.

If McCain is right, then how many troops is he sending to do the job? Do you think his number is enough? Do you think the troops he would have sent there would be employed to seal the borders? Where? Where not? (The key question and the Achilles Heel to this argument.)

It's the nature of warfare. If they want to come in, they will come in where we are not...and we can't be everywhere.

Slam the key crossings that made it easy for them (this is happening in the Qaim region and has in Rutbah and Rabiah among others). Make it more difficult, yes. But to envision making it impossible?

We put together a Flash presentation on the Anbar Campaign that shows, among others, the border crossing ops already in play. Go here and see them and also give a look at the expanse of the Iraqi borders:;w=800&h=600

Just like the gentleman's son said in the e-mail, the war is not only being won, but being won decisively. There is just no such thing as sealing the borders to the degree that the e-mail and subsequent posts envision.

This is also the same John McCain, mind you, who is attempting to ammend the Defense Appropriations Bill with language that opens the doors for untold numbers of lawsuits based on the UN's definition of torture: severe mental distress. Christina Aguillera music for hours on end, hours without sleep, no heat or A/C in these things ring a bell? They do to surely countless lawyers waiting for the language so they can challenge in court on behalf of detainees captured on the field of battle or nabbed in their planning dens plotting the murder of innocents.

With all due repsect, McCain is not right. McCain is cantankerous.